Riverbed Provides the WAN Optimization
Riverbed Selected to Provide the WAN Optimization
Some of the European offices have DSL connections; some have cable modem connectivity, O'Brien said.
After doing its due diligence on vendor evaluation, GMF decided to go with Riverbed Technology, a San Francisco-based WAN optimization specialist whose data services accelerate business operations.
Riverbed, which has about 4,500 customers, provides a comprehensive WDS hardware/software package to solve a host of common but often-severe problems that can effectively prevent enterprises from sharing applications and data across wide areas. In this context, "wide area" means anywhere in the world.
Riverbed's secret sauce is housed in its Steelhead WDS appliance, which addresses all the issues that affect application latency over the WAN. The appliance-which contains all the networking hardware and software in one plug-in-type package-is designed to improve the performance of file sharing, e-mail, backup, document management systems and IT tools, in addition to ERP and CRM applications.
Using Riverbed, these applications have been proven to be accelerated anywhere from five to 50 times faster, Riverbed Senior Vice President Eric Wolford told me.
"After we got them installed, not only did they work well, it was unbelievable how fast [the overall network performance] was," O'Brien said. "For example, to upgrade our Belgrade office in Serbia, where we pay about 50 euros a month for a DSL connection, the next possible upgrade would be to a Fibre Channel connection, which costs 600 euros per month.
"Consider that our Riverbed Steelhead WDS appliances cost us $3,000 or $4,000 apiece-that pays for itself very quickly."
Steelheads were integrated into every GMF office. The result was the creation of a GMF global network-the ability to work as a single organization-with significantly improved performance, O'Brien said.
GMF's IT department is now able to centrally manage the network as well as centrally control anti-spyware patch management for increased security, O'Brien said.
Because the grant documents are ingested and distributed faster across GMF's new world network, the system servers and storage arrays don't have to spin as long or as often as they used to, so electrical power saving is becoming a bottom-line savings factor.